A rock group christened as a Brit Pop group during the mid 90s consisting of androgynous misfits put out their first self titled album “Placebo” back in 1996.
I believe they were just late joiners in the grunge movement with a heavy pop influence and tended to be a little inclined towards “Minimalism” when it came to songwriting. Back in Nepal, this friend with god awful music in his phone had this one decent album so circumstantially, i was listening to this album while riding buses from one place to another and it ended up adding a certain sort of flavor to the whole journey.
Well, i had already listened to “Nancy boy”, a song about a man whore with issues and ended up listening to it for days.
Brian Molko has to be the fucked up 90s version of all those boy bands that girls dig now but that’s not an insult at all. It just shows what a great eccentric personality and voice he possesses.
Some songs like “Brick Shithouse” just might make your ears bleed if you don’t have a “hard rock metal” track record but then, if we can listen to EDM sounds i suppose we can pretty much take on anything.
“Hang On To Your IQ”, “Lady Of The Flowers”, “I know” are as catchy as it gets with amazing minimalist layers of instruments. I can still listen to these three songs over and over again while being utterly lost in the hypnotic sounds and music that this English band offers.
“Come Home” being the album’s opening track gets your attention as soon as you hear the drums kick in followed by the fast electric riff. While riding buses in an unknown land, it kept reminding me of my home which made me realize how lucky i was to have a home to go.
“Teenage Angst” talks about that feeling that we’ve all felt at one time or another because
“as soon as we were born we started to decay and now nothing ever ever goes our way.” It is one of those songs that speaks very clearly to me.
“Lady Of The Flowers” is truly hypnotic, sprinkled by haunting vocals by Brian while “Bionic” is one of the more melodic tracks on the album with sounds of urgency and intensity in his voice.
“Bruise Pristine” and “36 Degrees” can have as many meanings as you could possibly interpret from sexual to biological to philosophical.
“Swallow”, a drone like but full of intense drums and unconventional structure, sprinkled with whispers from Brian Molko along with the bass line .
Rumor has it which is partly supported by the members that “HK Farewell”, only instrumental track on the album, was written under the influence of “Acid” that explains the Doppler effect that it has which i can’t figure out how it was achieved but i remember listening to it while resting in Chitwan in “Crocodile Lodge”. That made the whole experience all the more beautiful.
All in all, a gripping, hypnotic album by one of the my favorite bands. Their music makes me feel nostalgic, lonely and even agitated at times but that’s what makes them great and worth listening.